12 Jul 5 Things That Could Trigger Migraine Headaches
Lone Star Pain Medicine treats patients experiencing many different types of pain. Here in our Weatherford, TX pain clinic, we see everything from back pain to shoulder pain and migraine headaches. We are happy to say that we offer a variety of treatments above and beyond prescription medications and invasive surgeries.
As far as migraine headaches are concerned, they are a problem for millions of people around the world. Science isn’t exactly clear on the direct causes of migraine. We are very familiar with its symptoms, though. Migraine patients complain of intense pain, light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and visual disturbances.
Though we do not know the direct causes, we do know that migraine headaches can be triggered by different things. Here are five of the most common triggers:
Many studies done over the years have found a link between migraine headaches and food. In some people, migraines are triggered by alcohol, caffeine, meats, and even dairy products. In addition, certain compounds found in foods can be problematic. Tyramine is a good example.
One of the first things a doctor will advise if you have migraines is to monitor your food intake. They suggest writing down everything you consume, then paying attention to what you eat just before a migraine attack occurs. If food is a trigger for you, writing things down should reveal a pattern.
2. Environmental Factors
Migraines are triggered in some patients by environmental factors. These include things like bright lights, loud noises, and certain types of odors. Writing things down can help identify these environmental factors, just as doing so helps with food triggers.
A person triggered by loud noises or bright lights may have a tough time enjoying concerts, live theater, and such. A person triggered by certain odors may not be able to visit restaurants, public shopping centers, etc.
We all know that stress does strange things to the body. Stress has been linked to everything from cancer to heart disease and high blood pressure. It can be a migraine trigger for people with a disposition toward migraine headaches. In such a case, avoiding stress is the best way to prevent migraine attacks.
A fourth trigger for migraine headaches is medication. For instance, medications that dilate blood vessels have been linked to migraine in some studies. It is believed that blood vessel dilation negatively impacts blood flow to the brain, triggering migraines and their associated symptoms.
We do not know for sure if there are any specific drugs capable of producing migraine headaches. For now, we need to look at categories of drugs. At the top of the list are vasodilators, hormone replacement drugs, and contraceptive medications.
5. Hormonal Fluctuations
Finally, hormonal fluctuations are linked to migraine headaches in both men and women. Women are more likely to demonstrate the link due to fluctuations associated with menstruation. It could be that estrogen plays a role in triggering migraines. In addition, migraines in women could be triggered by pregnancy and/or menopause. Again, both lead to hormonal fluctuations that can throw things completely out of balance.
Medical science is not clear on the exact physiological mechanism that causes migraine headaches. We suspect genetics may play a role, but certain triggers are more likely candidates for finding a way to prevent attacks. In the meantime, there are treatments available.
If you suffer from regular migraine headaches that impair your quality of life, Lone Star Pain Medicine physicians are here to help. Let us talk about your health and a possible treatment that will enable you to take your life back.